Marketing 50

KFC Snacker

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Scott Bergren has been exec VP-marketing for KFC since mid-2003, but after selling more than 100 million KFC Snacker sandwiches in six months, he has a new name: Mr. Snacker.

Starting with a 10% same-store sales boost in its first month, the Snacker has helped rocket sales out of a nearly two-year abyss and reacquaint customers with the finger-lickin' brand as it gears up a reprisal of its original Kentucky Fried heritage. Since March, sales' gains have remained in the mid- to high-single digits, drawing women and lunch customers.

"It's the most successful sandwich we've ever sold at KFC," says the 59-year-old Mr. Bergren. During the national rollout, restaurants were averaging more than 300 sales a day.

"We were afraid we were going to run out of buns," Mr. Bergren says, noting that the sandwiches were selling well during all dayparts, but especially at lunch and around the "shoulders" of the dinner rush. Much of those sales are incremental to the core dinner business. Not only were the initial sales and their sustaining sales a welcome surprise but also the draw of portion-size conscious women.

"The Snacker is probably the best new product that's come along since the strip," offers John R. Neal, a 35-year franchisee and chairman of KFC's franchisee advertising committee.

"We're having probably one of the absolute best sales years in growth that I've ever seen," he says.

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